Where is everybody? That was the reaction of physicist Enrico Fermi after an afternoon drinking coffee with fellow scientists who were contemplating the Drake Equation which (simply) states, based on probability, that there must be numerous examples of intelligent life extant on other planets in the Milky Way:
There are those who would argue that there is a ton of evidence that alien civilizations HAVE visited earth but for some reason have decided to keep their presence here a secret.
Once you derive the value of pi from that photo, let’s turn our attention to the TOP PARADOXES of the 2015/16 hockey season.
- Following are the top 10 teams in the league in Corsi For% thus far:
STL – 57.9
Fully 4 of those 10 teams are currently out of a playoff spot and a couple, Anaheim and Columbus have 2 wins combined this season.
Now, we should be able to test, going forward, whether or not actual results will flow from having a stellar Corsi record or whether it is Corsi itself that will regress. Go figure.
2. Woke up this morning to find Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin atop the NHL scoring race. While that is no surprise, what is shocking is that they haven’t played all that well to date. I’ve watched every Stars’ game this season and Seguin, in particular, while among the league’s leaders in SOG, has been missing the net a lot and his shooting percentage is a full 2 percentage points below last year. I have no doubt he will soon find the range and, when he does, stand back!
3. No surprise either that the Edmonton Oilers have a worse record than last year in these early days. It’s important to remember that, save for a one in a million miss by Daniel Sedin on a goal mouth tap in, the Oilers record would be 2-5 and likely 2-6 after tonight’s game against the Kings. Once again the Oilers are trying to play NHL hockey with 6 or 7 bottom 4 defensemen and the results, despite some decent goaltending, have been predictable.
4. Speaking of the Oilers, it’s also no surprise that C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has seen his offensive production drop now that Connor McDavid is getting the cherry minutes. Hopkins has only 4 points (on pace for a 40 point season) and his P/60 is a paltry 1.46. As a point of reference, the aforementioned Tyler Seguin is running a 4.48 P/60. Some Oiler apologists will try to tell themselves that’s because Hopkins is facing the “toughs” ands totally ignore that Seguin is too and getting much, much better results.
5.We would be remiss not to revisit the 2010 draft now that the requisite 5 seasons have passed and we a pretty good idea of what these players are now.
Here’s how the prominent forwards look this season after 1/10 of it has passed.
Seguin – 4G 8A 12P
Tarasenko – 5G 4A 9P
Bjugstad – 3G 3A 6P
Johansen – 1G 5A 6P
Hall – 2G 3A 5P
Niederreiter – 3G 1A 4P
Granlund – 1G 3A 4P
Schwartz – 0G 4A 4P (injured)
Burmsitrov 1G 2A 3P
Skinner 1G 1A 2P
6. Down the QE II in Calgary, the Flames did a face plant out of the starting blocks this season. But, after a win over Detroit, there is some hope things will turn around.
Was that win a springboard?
Or just a one-off?
The 3-2 overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings was a huge relief for the club. More important though was how the Flames won, and we’re not talking about third-period comebacks or overtime success.
They controlled the play for the bulk of the game notably after the first period. They won puck battles, created chances (dare we mention the Corsi word) and kept with the program even when behind.
In short, it was the kind of start-to-finish outing needed for success, especially from a team which had looked more fragile than a baby bird in most of the losses to start the season.
The trick will be to build off the game, show more of the same against some tough competition, and string a decent stretch together. Wins won’t come easily, but similar efforts in each outing will result in some form of success.
The Flames now head out on a 5 games in 7 nights road trip and I expect their fate will be decided in less than 2 weeks.
7. Finally, who knows what to make of the Anaheim Ducks. They are, IMO, one of the most talented and deepest teams in the league and yet they are sporting a 1-5-1 record. Their next 3 games are on the road against Chicago, Dallas and St. Louis so it’s conceivable they could end up with only 1 win in their first 10 games. If anything near that catastrophe does happen, notably will Bruce Boudreaux be looking for work, but it will throw the Pacific Division race wide open. Since we have to pretty much cede 5 playoff spots to the Central Division, teams that can surge between now and Halloween can make a pretty strong bid to be above the cut off line by American Thanksgiving.
Should be a fascinating week ahead.